The RCSHS Speech Team started the 2019-20 season pretty much the same way it ended last season: with focus and determined effort paying off with impressive showings in tournament finals.

In the team’s most recent tournament at LaRue County on Nov. 2, the team took first place by outdistancing its nearest competitor by 105 points. Twenty-four of RCSHS’s 35 entries advanced to finals, and team members earned first place in eight of the 14 speech events.

Rowan head coach Kim Reeder says the team continues to receive strong leadership from many returning talented upperclassmen but points out two additional reasons for the team’s fast start.

“A few students who worked hard without significant success last year have seen their efforts pay off with big wins this year,” Reeder points out. “Also, several freshmen are off to a great start.”

Members earning first place at LaRue County included Wyatt Welte in Declamation, Dakota Perry & Collin Tuerk in Duo Interpretation, Luke Gagliano in Extemporaneous Speaking, Jacob Holbrook in Humorous Interpretation, Ethan Jenkins & Alex Pace in Improvisational Duo, Wyatt Welte in Informative Speaking, Alaina Back in Poetry, and Joe Ammons in Storytelling.

Following are the remaining finalists at LaRue, listed according to event:

Broadcasting: Maggie Qin, second.

Declamation: Samantha McKenzie, fourth; Reagan Hatton, fifth.

Dramatic Interpretation: Alex Pace, third.

Extemporaneous Speaking: Madison Ortega, third.

Humorous Interpretation: Dakota Perry, second; Collin Tuerk, third.

Impromptu Speaking: Collin Tuerk, sixth.

Improvisational Duo: Dakota Perry & Ansley Perryman, second; Claire Freidhof & Luke Gagliano, seventh.

Informative Speaking: Maggie Qin, third; Isaac Watson, fourth.

Original Oratory: Alex Pace, second.

Poetry: Isaiah Burton, third.

Program of Oral Interpretation: Ansley Perryman, fourth.

Prose: Ansley Perryman, third; Alex Caudill, fourth.

Storytelling: Ethan Jenkins, seventh.

Before the LaRue tournament, RCSHS earned its first win of the year in a tournament at Henry Clay High School on Oct. 26.

Although a few students participated in a season-opening tournament at the University of Kentucky in September, the Henry Clay tournament was the first competition of the season for most speech team members.

The results at Henry Clay mirrored the results the team posted at LaRue as 24 of 33 Rowan entries advanced to finals.

At Henry Clay, RCSHS took seven first places, which included Wyatt Welte in Declamation, Dakota Perry & Collin Tuerk in Duo Interpretation, Collin Tuerk in Humorous Interpretation, Isaac Watson in Informative Speaking, Alex Pace in Original Oratory, Alex Caudill in Prose, and Joe Ammons in Storytelling.

Following are the remaining finalists at Henry Clay, listed according to event:

Broadcasting: Maggie Qin, second; Wyatt Welte, fifth.

Declamation: John Mantooth, fourth.

Duo Interpretation: Claire Freidhof & Grace Welte, third.

Extemporaneous Speaking: Madison Ortega, third; Luke Gagliano, sixth.

Humorous Interpretation: Dakota Perry, second.

Impromptu Speaking: Maggie Qin, fourth; Collin Tuerk, sixth.

Improvisational Duo: Claire Freidhof & Alex Pace, second; Luke Gagliano & Grace Welte, third.

Informative Speaking: Maggie Qin, second; Wyatt Welte, third.

Original Oratory: Grace Welte, second.

Poetry Interpretation: Isaiah Burton, fifth.

Program of Oral Interpretation: Ansley Perryman, second; Grace Welte, fourth.

Other team members who have made important contributions to the team’s performances this season are Lily Holland and Ethan Steagall.

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